The start of this year has given us days of 25+ knots followed by days of nearly 0 knots. Those days of light breeze have forced sailors to use the outboard motors on the Capri 22 fleet, so this is a great time to review the start up procedure and proper use of the outboard.
First and foremost, always check you have a full fuel tank and start the outboard while at the dock. This is the opportunity to review any of these steps with the dock crew before heading off.
When starting an outboard engine, you MUST ALWAYS have the engine in the water. Failure to do so will cause the rubber impeller (what sucks up sea water to cool the engine) to become damaged and overheat the engine within minutes.
1. Open the fuel cap to make sure the tank is full
2. Open the fuel vent cap on the top of the engine. This allows air to replace the fuel in the tank and keep fuel flowing to the carburetor
3. Check that the fuel on/off switch is in the on position. This is a red switch on the starboard side of the engine
4. If the engine is cold (first start of the day) pull the choke out
5. Make sure the safety shut off switch is attached, this is the red clip that goes around the kill switch
6. Double check the throttle is in the start/restart position
7. Pull the starting cord hard and in a straight line, i.e. do not pull at an angle
8. After the engine starts, slowly ease the choke in and allow the engine to idle
9. Shift the motor into gear and adjust the throttle as desired. Continue to steer the boat with the tiller, the motor will give forward propulsion and the tiller will turn the boat
10. Reduce throttle to idle, shift into neutral, and hold the kill switch until the engine stops